THE EXCITEMENT builds as Media Watch draws near. And so, I am glad to report, does the outpouring of support – with one petty exception. Casting himself as the rude doorman and custodian of the hempen rope that blocks my access to the ranks of the Drum Club’s elite inner circle, Ben Eltham has posted the following remark in comments at a post below.
Maybe Jonathan didn't publish you because your copy wasn't very good? I can't say because I haven't read your work before. But judging by this piece, perhaps he didn't publish you because you play the person and not the ball.
By the way, given that the online media environment in Australia is relatively young and small, is it surprising that some of the same writers pop up in various publications? The mainstream journalists would too, except that they are contracted to Fairfax or News. Besides, I can't see Andrew Bolt, Michelle Grattan or George Megalogenis swapping their six-figure salaries for the princely sums offered by The Drum.
I've got nothing against opinionated blogs, but the argument that all of The Drum's writers are somehow united in a left-wing love in doesn't bear scrutiny. There are more than token numbers of conservative voices, but more to the point, there is considerable diversity of backgrounds and media experience there too.
I think attacking the ABC for paying writers is pretty sad, by the way. $200 is a fraction of what print journalists receive, of what other ABC journalists are paid, and far less than the relevant award rate.
By the way, have you considered that the reason the ABC Drum's published opinion writers tend to the belief that anthropogenic global warming is a real phenomenon is because they share the view of the vast majority of the world's climate scientists?
Intrigued by that missive I consulted the Drum’s archive, where the evidence suggests Eltham is himself no slouch at playing people, not just balls. He was right to say Joe Hockey is an economic ignoramus, but isn’t it playing the man to put it thus:
When you consider that the Coalition's economic team is headed up by Joe Hockey, this is frankly amazing. Hockey seems to get just about every economic fact he mentions dead wrong.
I won’t be too critical because Ben’s article at the Drum ended on the right note, given that last year’s election was but days away:
Let's hope there is a leader's debate on the economy. Australian voters deserve to know what they might be in for if the Coalition wins government.
While I find Ben’s remarks very hurtful, I cannot fault his writing. His pre-election warning of the Coalition’s intent to vandalise the economy was the Drum at its very finest.